There was an article in yesteday’s New York Times that caught my attention. It was entitled: “If ‘Pain Is an Opinion,’ There Are Ways to Change Your Mind.” The basic point of the article was that pain is not something communicated to our brains by “pain nerves” or some other specific source, but rather something that originates in our brain.
“All pain is real, no matter what is causing it. But also, all pain is made by the brain in response to the information available to it.” ~ Lorimer Moseley, University of Australia
Now, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, so I can’t speak to the medical validity of the above statement, but I did find it interesting. The article went on to talk about things that can make pain better, one of which is love.
“A study published in Pain Medicine found that people who spend a greater portion of their day thinking about a romantic partner experience more pain reduction when viewing pictures of that partner than those less preoccupied with their partner. Other studies show that pain is reduced when partners hold hands” ~ New York Times article
I love (no pun intended) the idea that love can help reduce pain. It also makes me wonder whether reading about love (or watching a romantic movie) could have a similar impact. If relaxing, controlling our thoughts, and achieving a sense of calm can all contribute to reduced levels of pain, then I’m thinking romance novels belong in everyone’s pain-arsenal. Relaxed and calm is just how happily-ever-afters make me feel.
I’ve already found that reading and movies can be great stress relievers – well, maybe not thrillers – so why can’t they be pain relievers as well?
Next time I’m in pain I’ll have to pick up a book and see if that helps. If nothing else, it could be a way to reduce the size of my TBR pile. 🙂
So, what do you think?